In light of the aggressive decision made by the United States Supreme Court last year to overturn Roe v. Wade, the court decision that allowed access to abortion, many artists have come together with hopes to provide support for those affected.
Even fans are getting in on the action – Los Angeles-based non-profit SAMXSAM Productions, founded by Samantha Berger and Samantha Heller (Sam and Sam) just weeks after the historic overturn. Soon thereafter, Sam and Sam put their heads together to create their very first Music For Movement Benefit Concert last August, featuring artists Morgen, Abby Sage, Emei, Gigi, and Lexi Jayde. All proceeds were donated to Planned Parenthood.
Due to the massive success of the non-profits’ inaugural event, SAMXSAM returned with a second benefit concert at Winston House this past weekend, with another star-studded lineup of women performers: Devon Gabriella, Avery Lynch, Sophie Holohan and headliner Catie Turner. If the name Catie Turner sounds familiar to you, it may be because she’s just shy of a million followers across social media—but she ALSO was a contestant on the 15th season of American Idol (As a once avid viewer of America’s favorite singing competition, I can attest that Turner rocked it during her time on Idol, she even made it to the Top 7 as a 17-year-old).
I am personally a big fan of her 2022 single “Nothing,” and I was happy to hear Turner perform it as her opening track during her 45-minute headlining performance, including a handful of unreleased tracks. Turner, though certainly quirky and seemingly nervous in front of an audience, seemed comfortable onstage. The performances at Winston House were also all acoustically performed—which innately brings a certain level of intimacy to a room.
Although I have an amazing experience during about 90% of the shows I go to, there was something hopeful in the air at Winston House. There’s a new level of dedication brought to an environment when everyone is there for a common cause: to help other people through the shared passion of live music. It’s a method that clearly works—SAMXSAM sold out both events and announced at the end of the evening that the first and second benefit concerts brought in a total of $12,000 for Planned Parenthood.
Photos by Megan Chan